Why some teams win the collaboration challenge … and others don’t

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 20 October 2016 7:20 AM CAT

Why do you think some teams continue to exceed all expectations while others simply never make the grade?

Many of us have experienced working on teams where there is a lack of shared vision, which simply leads to poor cohesion. There’re also those teams where there’s tension or competition that is ego-based.  This is often a starting point of uncertainty in environments that are decentralised and that rely on digital collaboration where individuals may never meet face-to-face.

Uncertainty breeds poor collaboration. Members of teams may feel threatened and may simply withdraw. Another possibility is that they don’t speak with their ‘authentic’ voice. It’s critical that this uncertainty is replaced with trust.

The route to building trust includes clarifying the team’s purpose and expectation, kind of like the old saying of getting everyone on the same page. Don’t mistake this for agreement. Healthy collaboration thrives with equally healthy disagreement and debate, but when a team understands what they’re working towards and what their role in solving the challenge may be, the team is already moving in one direction.

It’s also important to define the scope. If the challenge is a green building, for example, don’t leave the team to believe that they’re tasked with solving global warming.

Once the collaboration has some better definition to it, team anxiety and uncertainty will be superseded with confidence.

Good luck in building strong collaborative teams and for more insights remember to subscribe to Collaboration Central.

Janice Scheckter is a collaboration strategist advising businesses on building a smarter collaborative environment.

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